On the morning radio calls at 0400hrs TU the skipper of LinkedOut, in hunting mode, explains his Westerly option, which he is not unhappy with. In nice conditions, LinkedOut has been reaching along at 16 knots under a starry sky. Ruyant spoke at length about his choice of route and the South Pacific which was hard work.
"The conditions are nice and it is getting better. We are getting to a routine which is not yet that of Europe, but now it is dark but the nights are longer. We feel like we're going back up north. We're on the edge of a high pressure system, I'm reaching with a flat sea and stars and it's nice. It feels good to sail on a sea that is not crossed where you can go fast quite easily. The slow down happened yesterday, now the more I get north the more wind I'll get, with a little bit of header. I'm on a very broad reaching gybe. I'm on port so it's on the right side for me. I won't have the slowdown that Charlie (Dalin) and Yannick (Bestaven) have at the moment. For Damien (Seguin), I don't know. There’s a bit of a change in the forecast. There are so many different routing options it’s a bit of a game. I've got one route which is a bit different but I'm pretty happy, it's not so bad."
"After rounding Cape Horn, there were two possible route choices. The more direct route to the north with a tighter angle, or a VMG route with a few gybes to get closer to the high. I didn't like the look of the Easterly route given my position. The two route choices are the more or less the same, I am a bit of a gambler from time to time and I am in hunting, chasing mode. Opportunities and different choices, I don’t think there will be too many later one. In the end, it is a fairly low-risk route that allowed me to do something different to try to get back on terms, even if I don't have much hope of getting back to Yannick. I can come back on Charlie. I am trying to do my route and get closer to the first two."
Back to civilisation
"I had a great day after rounding the Cape in Lemaire Strait, inside Staten Island and then west of the Falklands. I saw cargo ships, a different coloured sea and sunshine. Yesterday, I took the opportunity to do a big check of the whole boat and made some small repairs. You can feel that you've moved into a completely different world. Down there I had the impression of being in a parallel universe up to the Horn. The change is radical compared to the big South. We are back to a more normal world. It's sailing without a sense of time in the big South. You get back to more normal sailing you get back closer to civilization, it's a nice feeling.
I didn't really find the long swell I was hoping for neither in the Indian nor in the Pacific. In 2016, I had had snippets of these long surfs. I missed it. The racing was intense, I had the feeling that I was dealing with technical problems and chasing to get back after my flooding bowtank issue. I kept trying to get back on the train but I couldn't get it. Now the racing is intense, that's also what we came for in this Vendée Globe. I'm happy to have overcome my obstacles and to be heading back home.”
Thomas Ruyant / LinkedOut